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WELCOME TO THE SECOND MODULE!!! Now, it’s the moment of learning some vocabulary. First of all we will learn about the number system in Korean. So, let’s get down to business!


There are two sets of numbers in Korean: the native Korean system and the Sino-Korean system. Koreans use two different numbering systems, depending on the object being counted (e.g. money, phone numbers, people, hours, or simply how many there are). E.g:

Imagine you are talking to a clerk at a gift shop in Korea: A:

How much are these?


They're 10 Won [Korean currency] each.


Can I get 10 of these?"



In the above short conversation, number "10" is mentioned twice, but two completely different words are spoken. For "10 Won" (for

counting money), one counting system is used, and for "10 of these", another system is involved. Let’s take a look at the two Korean counting systems in detail.





Related to the Chinese language, this system was introduced into Korean probably around the 2nd century B.C. — thus it is the "new" system.

Preferred system for counting money and large numbers


Used by Koreans since time immemorial, this system represents the "ancient" system. The linguistic origin is obscure.

Preferred system for counting a manageable number (fewer than 100) of objects other than currency



Sino-Korean system

As you could see in the previous picture, this numerical system has some important uses. Now, lets talk about how to form the numbers after 10.  To form number eleven (11), you write 10 and then you add number one: 십

십일 (shib-il)


 To form number twelve (12), you write 10 and then you add number two: 십

십이 (shib - i)


 To form number thirteen (13), you write 10 and then you add number three: 십


십삼 (shib - sam)

Thus, you repeat the process by writing ten plus one of the basic numbers until you get to 19. To form number like twenty (20), thirty (30), forty(40), until ninety (90), what you have to do is as simple as in the process above:  To form number twenty (20), you write first number two (2) and then you add number ten (10): 이


이십 (i - shib)

 To form number thirty (30), you write first number three (3)and then you andd number ten (10): 삼


삼십 (sam - shib)

Did you notice how easy is to form Korean numbers? The process is the same up to ninety (90). Now, lets take a look at the biggest numbers:




일 (il)

십 (ship)

백 (baek)




천 (cheon)

만 (man)

십만 (shipman)

1 million

10 million

백만 (baekman)

천만 cheonman 1 trillion 조 (Jo)

100 million 억 (eok)

Large numbers are divided into units of ten thousand, so 1 million is one hundred tenthousands: ë°ąë§Œ (baek - man).

1.2 Native Korean system

 The native numbers are used for numbers of items (1-99) and age.

2. ANIMALS IN KOREAN Our first animal is considered the king of the jungle… In hangul we call him

사자 Saja The second animal belongs to the same family, this is called:

호랑이 Horang-i Our next guest is:

원숭이 Wonsung-i

Now, let’s give way to:

뱀 Baem This turn is for the best friend of the man…

개 Gae And, of course, the best enemy of our friend above:

고양이 goyang-i

Let’s receive the untamable one:

말 Mal

The one that clucks…

닭 Dak

Oing oing…

돼지 Dwaeji

The one that gives us milk:

소 So A very big friend is coming…

하마 Hama This friend has a very long neck!!!

기린 Girin

This buddy loves carrots…

토끼 Tokki And this little friend likes cheese!!!

쥐 Jwi This is a real sucker for honey:

곰 Gom

This friend comes bleating!

염소 Yeomso

…and her fleecy cousin:

양 Yang Now, the turn is for the ones with fins:

물고기 Mulgogi

The king of the sea with his scary teeth:

상어 Sangeo

Finally, let’s receive the most intelligent animal ever known!!!

돌고래 Dolgorae

3. FRUITS IN KOREAN Here you will take a look at some of the most common fruits around the world, of course in hangul.

사과 (Sagwa)

귤 (gyul)

포도 (Podo)

자몽 (jamong)

수박 (Subak)

단물 (dangmul)

바나나 (Banana)

오렌지 (Orenji)

망고 (Mango)

레몬 (Lemon)

파인애플 (Painaepeul)

체리 (Cheri)

키위 (kiwi)

토마토 (Tomato)

딸기 (Ttalgi)

블루 베리 (beuluberi)

블렉베리 (beurekberi)

라즈베리 (rajeuberi)

Tomatoes are not a fruit. By law, it is a vegetable but botanically, it is a fruit. In Korea, tomatoes are considered fruits and the tomato juice is one of the most appetizing ones. Give it a try!

복숭아 (Boksunga)

자두 (jadu)

배 (Bae)

A. GREETINGS Korean does not have a separate greeting for morning, noon, afternoon and evening. At all times of the day 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) “hello” is appropriate. Let’s see in more details what this greeting really means: 안녕+하세요 = 안녕하세요. [an-nyeong] [ha-se-yo]

안녕 = well-being, peace, health 하세요 = you do, do you?, please do 안녕하세요 is the most common way of greeting someone in Korean. When someone greets you with 안녕하세요, you can simply greet the person back with 안녕하세요. Howevver, it is not uncommon for Koreans to greet someone they know by asking 잘 지내셨어요?(jal jinaesyeosseoyo) “How have you been?” (Lit. Have you been doing well?). A simple 네(ne)“yes” is all that is expected. 감사합니다 is the most commonly used formal way of saying “Thank you.” You can use this expression, 감사합니다 (gamsahapnida), whenever you want to say “Thank you.” in English. Let’s analyse it in detail: 감사합니다. = Thank you. 감사 + 합니다 = 감사합니다. [gam-sa] [hap-ni-da] 감사 (gamsa)= appreciation, thankfulness, gratitude 합니다 (hapnida)= I do, I am doing

B. YES, NO, WHAT? when you are asked a YES/NO question, you will be able to answer that question with either YES or NO in Korean. 네 / 아니요 In Korean, “Yes” is 네 (ne) and “No” is 아니요 (aniyo.) 네. [ne] = Yes. 아니요. (aniyo) = No. But in Korean, when people say “네”, it is not the same as saying “Yes.” in English. The same goes for “아니요” too. This is because the Korean “네” expresses your “agreement” to what the other person said. And “아니요” expresses your “disagreement” or “denial” to what the other person said. E.G: Sarah:

“You don’t like coffee?” 커피 안 좋아해요? (keopi an joahaeyo?)


“No, I don’t like coffee.” In Korean

you have to say “네.”

It seem a litle difficult to understand. Let’s try another way: 네 (ne) yes    

That’s right I agree. Sounds good What you said is correct.

아니요 (aniyo) No  That’s not right  I don’t agree  What you said is not correct.

Therefore, when you ask “You don’t like coffee?” in Korean, if the person answering doesn’t like coffee, he/she will say “No.” in English but “네” in Korean. And if the person DOES like coffee, he/she will say “Yes.” but “아니요” in Korean. Sarah:

커피 좋아해요? keo-pi jo-a-hae-yo?

Do you like coffee? Collin:

네. 좋아해요. ne. jo-a-hae-yo Yes, I like coffee

네 is more than just YES or THAT’S RIGHT.

While 네 [ne] is used to express “Yes” or “That’s right”, it is also used as a conversation filler. If you listen to two Korean people talking with each other, you will hear them saying 네 quite often, even when it is not intended to mean “Yes”. So two people can have a conversation like this. Imagine it is all in Korean. Hyorin: But it’s a bit too expensive. Ailee: 네. Hyorin: Do you know how much it was? Ailee: How much was it?  Hyorin: You know what, I bought this book yesterday,

Hyorin: It was 100 dollars! Ailee: 네? (ne?)

Ailee: 네. (ne)

Hyorin: So I paid the money with my credit card.

Hyorin: and I really like it.

Ailee: 네...

Ailee: 네.

So, as you can see from the dialog above, 네 [ne] is a multiplayer. It can be: Yes. / That’s right. But also: I see. / I got it. / I’m here! (when someone calls you) / I understand. / Ah-ha. / etc...

네 is amazing!

It can be many things already, but it can

also be “What did you say?” Suppose someone said something to you but you couldn’t hear the person well or you weren’t paying much attention. Then you can say “네?” (ne?) to mean “Pardon me?” “I’m sorry?” “What did you say?” “I didn’t hear you well.” You can also use “네?” to show your surprise. E.g: Hyorin: I bought a present for you. Ailee: 네? (ne?) Hyorin: I said I bought a present for you? Ailee: 네? Hyorin: Forget it. Ailee: 네?

C. FAREWELLS In Korean, when you say “Good-bye”,

there are two types of

expressions, and both of these expressions have the word 안녕 (annyeong) in them. 1. One is when you are the one who is leaving. 2. And the other is when you are the one who is staying.  If you are leaving, and the other person is (or the other people are) staying, you can say: 안녕히 계세요. (annyeong hi gyeseyo)  If you are staying, an the other person is (or the other people are) leaving, you can say: 안녕히 가세요. (annyeong hi gaseyo) If you are really curious about what those expressions really mean, they would be translated like this: 안녕히 계세요. . (annyeong hi gyeseyo) = Stay in peace. 안녕히 가세요. (annyeong hi gaseyo) = Go in peace.

Confusing? Let’s try another way…

안녕히 가세요. (annyeong hi gaseyo) 안녕히 계세요. (annyeong hi gyeseyo)

If you do not get it yet, do not worry. Just try to put it into practice and later on you will not have problems with this.


In this section you will learn how to say “I am sorry” or “I apologize” in Korean and you will also learn how to get someone’s attention when you want to say something to them or order something in a restaurant.

죄송합니다. (joe-song-hap-mi-da)

Do you remember how to say “Thank you” in Korean? It is 감사합니다. (gamsahapnida) If you also remember that 감사합니다 is basically 감사 (“appreciation” or “thankfulness”) plus 합니다 (“I do”), you can assume that 죄송합니다 is also 죄송 plus 합니다.  죄송 (joesong) means “apology”, “being sorry” or “feeling ashamed”.  합니다 (hapnida) means “I do”. According to what wassaid above, 죄송합니다 (joesonghapnida) means “I am sorry.” or “I apologize.”

죄송합니다 is NOT always “I’m sorry”. Even though 죄송합니다 (joesonghapnida) is BASICALLY “I’m sorry”, you can’t use 죄송합니다 when you want to say “I am sorry to hear that.” Many Korean people actually get confused when they talk about some bad news to their Englishspeaking friends and hear “I’m sorry” from them. If you say “I’m sorry.” after you hear a piece of bad news from your Korean friend, he or she might say “Why are YOU apologizing for that?” to you. This is because 죄송합니다 ONLY means “I apologize.”, “It was

my bad.”, “Excuse me.” or “I shouldn’t have done that.” It can never mean “I’m sorry to hear that.”

저기요. (jeogiyo) In English, you can use the expression “Excuse me.” in all of the following situations. 1. when you are passing through a crowd of people 2. when you are leaving the room for a second 3. when you want to get someone’s attention and talk to them or let them know something 4. when you want to call the waiter in a restaurant or a cafe to order something 저기요 (jeogiyo) is an expression that can be translated to “Excuse me” but this Korean expression, 저기요 is ONLY used for situation number 3 and 4 above. How do you say “Excuse me.” when you want to pass through? You can say: 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo) (literal meaning: “Just a second.”) 죄송합니다. (joesonghapnida) (literal meaning: “I am sorry.”) 잠깐만요. (jamkkanmanyo) (literal meaning: “Just a second.”)

With these expressions we have finished module 2. I hope you have learnt a lot. Now, go to the practice section!!!

Learn Korean - Module 2  

In this module you will learn about the Korean numerical systems, as well as some vocabulary about animals and fruits and finally, you will...

Learn Korean - Module 2  

In this module you will learn about the Korean numerical systems, as well as some vocabulary about animals and fruits and finally, you will...